Author Archive

Apr
20
2006 Chevrolet SSR

2006 Chevrolet SSR

The 2003-2006 Chevrolet SSR was a retro-styled convertible pickup truck, though the vehicles with which it shared its basic architecture were none of the above. It would not surprise me if the SSR was the product of a truth-or-dare game gone horribly wrong, and a group a General Motors engineers found themselves at the losing end of a sinister “dare.”

Apr
16
Silverado Hi-Rail by Harsco, How Hi-Rail Pickup Trucks Work

Chevrolet Silverado Hi-Rail conversion by Harsco. (Harsco Corporation photos.)

I have a number of automotive fantasies, many of which fall into the “never gonna happen” category. Among these daydreams are commuting to work in a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, and driving with Grace Kelly to get a malt at Chicago’s Superdawg Drive-In in a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.

Apr
13
Tire Size Decoder

The string of numbers found on the side of tires may seem confusing, but it’s easy enough to decode once you know what the numbers stand for. (Photo courtesy of Continental Tires.)

The easiest way to replace the tires on your vehicle is to work with a professional retailer who will help you identify the tires that best match the specifications of the car, as well as your wants and needs for ride quality, handling, and the types of roads and conditions in which you normally drive.

Apr
11
2002 Lincoln Blackwood, Lincoln Blackwood Review

2002 Lincoln Blackwood

In recent years, Ford’s F-150 product planners and marketing staff have found themselves with an enviable “problem:” They have apparently not yet found the ceiling for what buyers will pay for a fully decked-out full-size pickup. With each new model year, pickup manufacturers keep finding buyers for ever-more-high-end trim levels loaded with new features and gilded with luxury-level appointments.

Apr
10
1976 Ford Thunderbird, Most-Expensive Coupes of 1976

1976 Ford Thunderbird

There is no longer space in the American new-car marketplace for vehicles with hoods and trunklids that consume more linear space than their passenger compartments do. While I know that the passing of the giant coupe was inevitable, I also lament that automotive designers no longer have a free hand with such large and expressive canvases.

Apr
05
2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS

2001 Isuzu VehiCROSS

There are vehicles that, for whatever reason, sell poorly when new, but develop a healthy following as used. We number among those rides the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Pontiac Aztek (thank you, Walter White), and the subject of this post, the Isuzu VehiCROSS.

Apr
04
2005 Saab 9-2X

2005 Saab 9-2X

Question: What is the automotive rough equivalent of McDonald’s selling raggmunk sprinkled with furikake? If you answered the Saab 9-2X, you know where I am going with this.

Apr
02
eTorque

The Ram eTorque system boosts torque output while also improving fuel economy.

With automakers scrambling to improve their corporate average fuel-economy (CAFE) numbers in advance of stringent federal targets—the loftiest of which were originally scheduled to kick in for 2025—it may seem counterintuitive that the redesigned-for-2019 Chevrolet Silverado and Ram 1500 are actually growing in size, but they are.

Mar
28
2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

2019 Hyundai Kona Electric

New York Auto ShowAt the 2018 New York Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its second all-electric vehicle, the 2019 Kona Electric. Based on the recently introduced Kona small crossover, the Kona Electric promises more than 250 miles of range on a single charge.

The Kona Electric joins the Ioniq Electric 4-door hatchback in Hyundai’s EV stable. The Ioniq Electric has a 110-mile range. The Ioniq is also offered in Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variations.

Mar
28
Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

Volkswagen Atlas Tanoak Concept

New York Auto ShowAt the 2018 New York Auto Show, Volkswagen introduced the Atlas Tanoak Concept, a unibody-pickup concept vehicle that, were it to be offered as a production model, would slot nicely into the hot North American midsize truck segment.

The Atlas Tanoak Concept (Tanoak is a variety of oak tree common in coastal California) is designed around VW’s MQB modular architecture, which accommodates a range of vehicles, including the Golf compact car and Atlas midsize crossover.

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